Emma Bain Johnson Scrapbook, 1927-1931

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Johnson, Bain (Emma Bain), 1910-1979
Emma Bain Johnson was an eduator and graduate of Duke University. While at Duke, she was active in a number of student groups like the Taurian Players, the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and the Woman's Student Government Association (WSGA). This collection consists of a scrapbook containing memorabilia from Johnson's time as an undergraduate student at Duke. The scrapbook includes programs, correspondence, social standards policies, class schedules, coursework, and student group materials. The contents span 1927 to 1931 and provide a view into the social, academic, and campus life of white women attending Duke during this time.
1.4 Linear Feet
Materials in English.
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
30 -- Student and Alumni Papers and Materials
30 -- Student and Alumni Papers and Materials > 01 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

This scrapbook contains memorabilia Emma Bain Johnson collected as an undergraduate student, spanning 1927-1931. The front cover bears the Duke University seal and is inscribed with Johnson's name. The opening pages are signed by fellow classmates. Included are class assignments and reading lists; materials from the WSGA; meal ticket books; invitations; clippings about student activities at Southgate Residence Hall and construction projects on Duke's campus; programs from May Day Revels and commencement exercises; a Bull Durham charm; playbills from the Taurian Players productions and a 1930 production of an African American drama group in the Durham Community Players. Correspondence includes a letter from Dean Alice M. Baldwin to Johnson's parents concerning social standards policies for women on campus. Also, includes a letter Johnson and classmates composed appealing to students not to elect sorority members as officers for the YWCA and WSGA. Contains many loose items between the pages.

Biographical / historical:

Born to Mary Conley and Trinity College alum, Reverend Thomas B. Johnson, on April 17, 1910, Emma Bain Johnson was a white graduate of the Woman's College and an educator. In 1927, Johnson moved to Durham from Shelby, North Carolina to attend Duke University. During her time at Duke, Johnson participated in several student groups. She was a member of the Taurian Players, the Braxton Craven Educational Association, and the Women's Glee Club. In her senior year, she was elected House President of the WSGA and served on the Cabinet of the YWCA. In 1930, the Woman's College of Duke University was established on East Campus, and Trinity College became all-male and relocated to West Campus.

Johnson graduated from the Woman's College in 1931. She later returned to Duke as a graduate student and received a Master of Arts degree in 1943. She went on to have a career as an educator which included teaching English and French and working as a high school librarian. Johnson was honored with the Walter Lambeth Award in recognition of her service in education. She also participated in several organizations like the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society and the American Association of University Women. In the late 1970s, Johnson retired from her position as Head Librarian at High Point Central High School. She died in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in June 1979.

Acquisition information:
The Emma Bain Johnson Scrapbook was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 2022.
Processing information:

Processed by April Blevins, April 2022

Accessions described in this collection guide: UA2022-0005

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

Copyright for official university records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Emma Bain Johnson Scrapbook, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.